By – Gregory Richman, Real Estate Broker HomeSmart Advantage Group, 520-248-1239, [email protected]

There is a large variety of housing options available to older adults. These include 55 and up apartments, mobile home parks, and active adult communities, One option that may or may not make sense is buying a home.

Buying a home after 60 can make sense if you have sufficient monthly income and find an affordable home. In addition, if you're physically capable of maintaining the home or can pay for extra help, homeownership won't become burdensome. Delayed Empty Nest Syndrome, or just logical downsizing, can also encourage seniors to buy a new home, with a concurrent new mortgage.

Generally speaking, buying a home instead of renting makes good sense. One should keep your total housing costs to 30% of your income or less. This holds whether you're working or retired. Since age isn't a factor considered in lending decisions, there are typically no special rates for seniors. The mortgage rate you'll get will depend on regular mortgage factors, including your credit score, loan type, and term, the size of your down payment, and loan-to-value ratio (LTV).

Applying for a mortgage during retirement is the same as applying for a mortgage while employed. You need to meet the same basic credit and down payment requirements and document your income based on the type of retirement income(s) you receive. Seniors with good credit, sufficient retirement income and assets, and not a lot of debt can get a mortgage or home loan. The keys are knowing your long-term plans, exploring loan options, and providing documentation to support your application.

Buying a house is a large investment, no matter how old you are. If you're considering buying a house at 65 years old or older, you should first look at your financial portfolio and perhaps even speak with a financial advisor to determine whether an investment of this size makes sense for you.

Next, you should find an experienced realtor (LIKE MYSELF) who knows the local market and can help you negotiate a winning offer on the perfect house for your retirement goals. With an expert buyer’s agent at your side, nothing is stopping you from finding the house of your dreams at any age.

If you’re 65, you’re not too old to buy a house — provided that you have the finances to make a down payment, cover your monthly mortgage payments, and keep up with expenses like maintenance and property taxes. However, when you’re 65 or older, it is difficult to know if you’ll be able to live in the house long enough to see a good return on your investment. 

If you’re retired or close to retiring, you may have a limited income that must support you for an unknown period.  When you throw a considerable portion of those assets at a house, you add another unknown variable — the housing market. If the house you purchase does not appreciate, or you can’t keep up with the mortgage payments, you could put yourself in an untenable financial position where you might be forced to sell the house to manage your debt load.

A Reverse Mortgage is a great mortgage financing option that would suit those with these concerns. A Reverse Mortgage is becoming a tool many seniors are opting for. When one takes a reverse mortgage, there are zero payments. A downpayment must be made, but that's it. Upon sale or the death of the homeowner, the home will be sold with a portion of the proceeds returning to the Reverse Mortgage company. I work with many great lenders who can answer all your questions about Reverse Mortgages.

Put extra effort into researching the housing market with a local buyer’s agent. A qualified agent can help stack the deck in your favor by identifying properties that have the best chance of appreciating in a short period.

Today's Active Adult Communities are a great option well worth exploring. Check out some great properties currently on the market in Active Adult Communities.







Please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss real estate.   

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